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HANA – hdbcons first aid hacks

A tool which got more and more power since HANA 2.0 was released is hdbcons. It should only be used by experienced admins and should be tested in non-prod systems, because it can produce system crashes. There are several known issues documented in notes which describe scenarios you should avoid the usage of hdbcons in prod systems.
This blog won’t describe the full functional scope (see the central hdbcons note 2222218). I will show some general use cases which are not well known, but should be kept in mind for scenarios I call ‘HANA first aid’. At the end of the blog you will also get an example script for such a troubleshooting situation.

  1. General stuff about hdbcons
  2. HANA 2.0 SPS04 vs. SPS05 features
  3. Disk / Container / Log Management
  4. Memory / NUMA
  5. HSR
  6. Troubleshooting


General stuff about hdbcons

At first just use it if you are sure you don’t get this information by using the SQL way over e.g. HANA Cockpit. It remains as an expert tool. Also if you already used it 100 times. Every installation has its own topology and parameter set which can be different. Please try every command in the non-prod system before you use it in production. However, this just minimizes the risk. It doesn’t eliminate it!

When I should use hdbcons?

  • good if you don’t have SQL access or the needed roles
  • secondary site of a HSR
  • system is unresponsible

All 3 aspects have in common that there is no way to connect via SQL. In HSR scenario (besides active/active = read enabled) this is the case for the secondary site.

As already explained I won’t explain the full scope of the tool, but I will show some hacks how I use it:
On Linux level you can start hdbcons as sidadm:

#shows normal help
hdbcons "help"


#shows all sub commands
hdbcons "all help"


#is a quick search if, you do not know the exact command
hdbcons "all help" | grep -i <search term> -B 10


hdbcons [-p <pid>] [-e <process_name>]

Per default hdbcons will connect to the indexserver process, but you can specify the process ID of another SAP HANA process via "-p <pid>" or the name of another SAP HANA process via "-e <process_name>" (e.g. <process_name> = 'hdbnameserver').


HANA 2.0 SPS04 vs. SPS05 features

As there are no big new features in SPS05 the version are pretty identically. There is only one difference in context of CPU control regarding the LLC called cpuresctrl.

Here is the section overview of SPS05:
ae_tableload – Handle loading of column store tables and columns
all – Print help and other info for all hdbcons commands
authentication – Authentication management.
binarysemaphore – BinarySemaphore management
bye – Exit console client
cd – ContainerDirectory management
cfgreg – Basis Configurator
checktopic – CheckTopic management
cnd – ContainerNameDirectory management
conditionalvariable – ConditionalVariable management
connection – Connection management
context – Execution context management (i.e., threads)
cpuresctrl – Manage cpu resources such as last-level cache allocation
converter – Converter management
crash – Crash management
crypto – Cryptography management (SSL/SAML/X509/Encryption).
csaccessor – Display diagnostics related to the CSAccessor library
ddlcontextstore – Get DdlContextStore information
deadlockdetector – Deadlock detector.
debug – Debug management
distribute – Handling distributed systems
dvol – DataVolume management
ELF – ELF symbol resolution management
encryption – Persistence encryption management
eslog – Manipulate logger on extended storage
event – Event management
exit – Exit console client
flightrecorder – Flight Recorder
hananet – HANA-Net command interface
help – Display help for a command or command list
hkt – HANA Kernal Tracer (HKT) management
indexmanager – Get IndexManager information, especially for IndexHandles
itab – Internaltable diagnostics
jexec – Information and actions for Job Executor/Scheduler
licensing – Licensing management.
log – Show information about logger and manipulate logger
machine – Information about the machine topology
mm – Memory management
monitor – Monitor view command
mproxy – Malloc proxy management
msl – Mid size LOB management
mutex – Mutex management
numa – Provides NUMA statistics for all columns of a given table, broken down by column constituents like dictionary, data vector and index.
nvmprovider – NVM Provider
output – Command for managing output from the hdbcons
page – Page management
pageaccess – PageAccess management
profiler – Profiler
quit – Exit console client
readwritelock – ReadWriteLock management
replication – Monitor data and log replication
resman – ResourceManager management
rowstore – Row Store
runtimedump – Generate a runtime dump.
savepoint – Savepoint management
semaphore – Semaphore management
servicethreads – Thread information M_SERVICE_THREADS
snapshot – Snapshot management
stat – Statistics management
statisticsservercontroller – StatisticsServer internals
statreg – Statistics registry command
syncprimi – Syncprimitive management (Mutex, CondVariable, Semaphore, BinarySemaphore,
table – Table Management
tablepreload – Manage and monitor table preload
trace – Trace management
tracetopic – TraceTopic management
transaction – Transaction management
ut – UnifiedTable Management
version – Version management
vf – VirtualFile management
x2 – get X2 info


Some views were added in SPS05:


There are 510 usable views in SPS04 and 522 in SPS05.


Disk / Container / Log Management

One of the most ask questions is about the reorg of the persistence layer. Here we have an easy command to get the information we need:

hdbcons "dvol info"
## Start command at: 2021-01-09 13:08:29.730
DataVolumePartition #0 (/hana/data/D02/mnt00001/hdb00004.00004/)
  size= 2593019396096
  used= 2424372674560
NOTE: We DO NOT recommend reclaiming this DataVolume. Reclaiming may take considerable time and free up space that will have to be reallocated in subsequent savepoint cycles anyway.

Here is also the recommendation if you should reorg/reclaim or not.

If we need more details how the data volume divided, we need information about the structure. The persistence is structured in container. We have several container types like “Unified Table”, “VirtualFileLOB” or “MidSizeContainerLOB”. Too many LOB files can be a performance overhead for the startup procedure, the size of the PageCache (Memory overhead) or issues regarding the garbage collection. This means you should always be aware of the size.

#global statistics to get an overview of non-temp and temp containers
hdbcons "cd gstat"

## Start command at: 2021-01-08 14:54:52.570
Sum of non-temporary containers:
FreeUndoFile            :     7862
VirtualFileLOB          : 49879170
VirtualFileCLOB         :       25
VirtualFileNCLOB        :   377153
VirtualFileMain         :   287842
VirtualFileMetaData     :        3
liveCache               :        3
UnifiedTable            :    89115
MidSizeLobContainerLOB  :       22
MidSizeLobContainerCLOB :        1
MidSizeLobContainerNCLOB:       27
FixedSizeEntry          :        1

Sum of temporary containers:

raw size of ContainerDirectory      :  92 MB, page count:   370
raw size of LOB ContainerDirectory  :  19 GB, page count: 79951
raw size of MS LOBContainerDirectory: 256 kB, page count:     1
raw size of UNDO ContainerDirectory : 313 MB, page count:  1252
raw size of temp ContainerDirectory :   0  B, page count:     0
raw size of FileIDMap container     :   4 GB, page count: 17885
raw size of LOB FileIDMap container :  96 MB, page count:   384


#query all containers
hdbcons "cd stat -a"

## Start command at: 2021-01-09 14:02:10.059
UnifiedTable            : count=    89115, sum page count=   1156561, sum raw size= 1533 GB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
VirtualFileLOB          : count= 49879170, sum page count= 138155123, sum raw size=  593 GB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
MidSizeLobContainerLOB  : count=       22, sum page count=    150284, sum raw size=    9 GB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
VirtualFileNCLOB        : count=   378285, sum page count=    553743, sum raw size=    4 GB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
VirtualFileMain         : count=   287842, sum page count=    309886, sum raw size=    3 GB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
MidSizeLobContainerNCLOB: count=       27, sum page count=     13859, sum raw size=  866 MB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
FreeUndoFile            : count=     7954, sum page count=      7952, sum raw size=  108 MB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
VirtualFileMetaData     : count=        3, sum page count=        17, sum raw size=    4 MB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
liveCache               : count=        3, sum page count=         2, sum raw size=  512 kB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
VirtualFileCLOB         : count=       26, sum page count=        52, sum raw size=  208 kB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
MidSizeLobContainerCLOB : count=        1, sum page count=         1, sum raw size=   64 kB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B
FixedSizeEntry          : count=        1, sum page count=         0, sum raw size=    0  B, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B

time needed to collect data from container directories: 4.78 min
## Finish command at: 2021-01-09 14:06:57.154 command took: 4.785 min


#query a specific type
hdbcons "cd count -a -t <type>"
hdbcons "cd count -a -t VirtualFileLOB​"
## Start command at: 2021-01-09 13:24:13.367
LOBContainerDirectory       : count= 49879170, sum page count= 138155123, sum raw size= 593 GB, deleted count= 0, sum deleted page count= 0, sum deleted raw size= 0  B


#find the top <n> objects
hdbcons "cd top -l <n>"
hdbcons "cd top -l 10"

## Start command at: 2021-01-09 13:45:55.874
Top Raw Size:
  1: size: 47 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f24, I\1\SAPREQ\1\EDID4\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  2: size: 42 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f11, I\1\SAPREQ\1\CDPOS\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  3: size: 41 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f18, I\1\SAPREQ\1\VBFA\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  4: size: 39 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f13, I\1\SAPREQ\1\VRPMA\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  5: size: 37 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f15, I\1\SAPREQ\1\BALDAT\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  6: size: 36 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f14, I\1\SAPREQ\1\VBRP\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  7: size: 32 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f0d, I\1\SAPREQ\1\CE40010_ACCT\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  8: size: 30 GB, cID: 0xfe03235f0e, I\1\SAPREQ\1\BSIM\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
  9: size: 26 GB, cID: 0xfe7cd37a90, I\1\SAPREQ\1\_SYS_SPLIT_BSEG~7\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$
 10: size: 26 GB, cID: 0xfe7cd37a91, I\1\SAPREQ\1\_SYS_SPLIT_BSEG~8\1\\1\D\1\ || $container$

With this commands you will get all details you need for a detailed analysis

From data volume you will go further to the log volume.
There are min. 2 log segments. One in state free and one in state writing. There can be more till the log volume is full.

#show state of each log segments
hdbcons "log info" | grep STATE


#to show / count all log segments with state free
hdbcons "log info" | grep STATE | grep Free | wc -l


#to show / count all log segments NOT in state free
hdbcons "log info" | grep STATE | grep -v Free | wc -l

More details about the log segments can be found in other blogs/notes like:
Details about HANA overwrite log mode
2083715 – Analyzing log volume full situations
1679938 – Disk Full Event on Log Volume


Memory / NUMA

One of the important function is to get an overview over all tenants. The easiest way – in my opinion – is the inter process memory management (IPMM). This is also an important part of every RTE dump. IPMM includes PAL, TPAL, AB and U. What do these acronyms mean?

#create IPMM report
hdbcons "mm ipmm"

Inter Process Memory Management
IPMM shared memory segment: SAP_IPMM_O048_D02
SId=        Process secondary identifier
AB=         Allocated bytes by allocators for heap and stacks (inclusive allocator cache)
UA=         Unaccounted memory (by unlimited allocators for exceptions etc.), maybe overcommit
U=          Used bytes for heap and stacks (without allocator cache)
FSL=        Free segment list size
FMC=        Free precharge memory cache size
SMAS/SMDS=  System memory traffic information (accumulation of allocations/deallocations)
PAL=        Process allocation limit
TPAL=       Temp process allocation limit
Blocked=    Memory (TPAL!) blocked/reserved for this process
W=          Weight of process

[0] PID=250869 (state=S), SId=640483232, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbnameserver
    AB=166.63gb (178927042560b), UA=0b, U=7.08gb (7612028948b), FSL=6gb (6442450944b), FMC=0b, SMAS=1.52tb (1678410842112b), SMDS=1.36tb (1499367014400b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=168.45gb (180875427840b), W=100

[1] PID=251734 (state=S), SId=640483233, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbcompileserver
    AB=4.57gb (4913692672b), UA=0b, U=677.12mb (710020245b), FSL=0b, FMC=0b, SMAS=214.09gb (229882134528b), SMDS=209.38gb (224827015168b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=4.57gb (4913692672b), Blocked=1.02gb (1102446592b) (perm=1102446592B, temp=0), W=100

[2] PID=251737 (state=S), SId=640483234, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbpreprocessor
    AB=3.45gb (3715432448b), UA=0b, U=670.25mb (702814346b), FSL=0b, FMC=0b, SMAS=185.04gb (198688833536b), SMDS=181.46gb (194850193408b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=3.45gb (3715432448b), W=100

[3] PID=280438 (state=S), SId=640483247, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbxsengine
    AB=25.36gb (27232108544b), UA=0b, U=1.96gb (2105583430b), FSL=0b, FMC=0b, SMAS=304.03gb (326460309504b), SMDS=278.56gb (299110891520b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=25.60gb (27491827712b), W=100

[4] PID=279916 (state=R), SId=640483246, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbindexserver
    AB=2.14tb (2361270599680b), UA=0b, U=1005.04gb (1079160726009b), FSL=198.25gb (212869316608b), FMC=0b, SMAS=9.21tb (10130337824768b), SMDS=7.06tb (7768950571008b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=2.17tb (2394008911872b), W=100

[5] PID=266322 (state=S), SId=640483237, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbwebdispatcher
    AB=4.48gb (4814077952b), UA=0b, U=934.67mb (980079007b), FSL=0b, FMC=0b, SMAS=232.21gb (249344753664b), SMDS=227.61gb (244402880512b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=4.48gb (4814077952b), W=100

[6] PID=266887 (state=S), SId=640483238, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbindexserver
    AB=4.52tb (4977854775296b), UA=0b, U=3.24tb (3569697000331b), FSL=167.25gb (179583320064b), FMC=0b, SMAS=119.61tb (131515736981504b), SMDS=115.08tb (126537765879808b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=4.63tb (5092921180160b), W=100

[7] PID=266890 (state=S), SId=640483239, compactors active, alive, process name: hdbxsengine
    AB=29.97gb (32184336384b), UA=0b, U=2.08gb (2239677798b), FSL=0b, FMC=0b, SMAS=355.90gb (382152015872b), SMDS=325.82gb (349850238976b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=30.01gb (32224116736b), W=100
 AB=64.69gb (69462654976b), UA=0b, U=800.17mb (839044495b), FSL=5.75gb (6174015488b), FMC=2.50gb (2684420096b), SMAS=211.13gb (226702262272b), SMDS=146.30gb (157099687936b), PAL=7.74tb (8516251680768b), TPAL=64.74gb (69514493952b), W=100

GLOBAL_MAX_ALLOCATION_LIMIT=7.74tb (8516251680768b)
SHARED_MEMORY=139.59gb (149889613824b)
CODE_SIZE=2.44gb (2623602688b)
Sum TPAL (including shm, code size and IPMM reservation but not IPMM OOM reservation)=7.74tb (8516117463040b) (cached sum=7.74tb (8516117463040b)), emergency reservation=128mb (134217728b)
#processes=18, weight sum=1800, cached weight sum=1800, #checks for cached allocation limit sum=1457242, #terminated processes since last reset=9

Early exits are currently allowed.
Last reclaim memory started to wait for IPMM lock since 2021-01-09 15:49:28.852.
Last reclaim memory got IPMM lock at 2021-01-09 15:49:28.852.
User ids respected in shm calculation: [17286]
Parallel memory reclaim tasks are activated.
This is an opt build.

Peak used memory: 5.50tb (6057423072499b) with corresponding values (Heap=5.37tb (5906923121907b), Shared=137.71gb (147876347904b), Code=2.44gb (2623602688b)).
Peak heap memory: 5.37tb (5906923121907b). Peak shared memory: 221.46gb (237802225664b). Peak code size: 2.44gb (2623602688b)

Important is that the sum of all PAL are lower than the GAL. With SAP HANA 2 SPS03, the free memory cache (FMC) was introduced in SAP HANA. This feature enables HANA to efficiently reuse the already allocated memory.

Some rules:

AB > U


PAL = <service>.ini -> [memorymanager] -> allocationlimit
GAL = global.ini -> [memorymanager] -> global_allocation_limit



You want some details about the NUMA topology? No problem:

#Virtual Memory allocations by HANA Memory Manager
hdbcons "mm numa -v"
## Start command at: 2021-01-09 15:46:34.490
               Virtual Memory allocations by HANA Memory Manager
Total number of NUMA Nodes = 8
 Target NODE   #Allocs   #Deallocs   Alloc size (MB)  Fallback size (MB)   Dealloc size (MB)
------------   -------   ---------   ---------------  ------------------   -----------------
           0      1243         579         929401.88                0.00           696546.06
           1      1569         723         878001.88                0.00           611223.69
           2      1804         671         981302.19                0.00           604844.62
           3      1980         827        1152106.75                0.00           766656.25
           4      1362         881         894711.38                0.00           715093.94
           5      2645        1541        2286683.88                0.00          1855888.88
           6      1814        1268        1080738.38                0.00           889302.94
           7      1716         920        1344334.12                0.00          1008572.25
 INTERLEAVED         0           0              0.00                  --                0.00

NOTE: Fallback schemes are used if 'mbind' to target node fails!


#Physical Memory allocations by OS (resident pages)
hdbcons "mm numa -p"

## Start command at: 2021-01-09 15:47:26.270
              Physical Memory allocations by OS (resident pages)
Total number of NUMA Nodes = 8
 Target NODE   Local allocation (MB)  Remote allocation (MB)  NUMA HIT Rate(%)
 -----------   ---------------------  ----------------------  ----------------
           0               131055.12                75951.12             63.31
           1               138521.44               100013.12             58.07
           2               193621.62               149436.81             56.44
           3               268244.00                77401.75             77.61
           4                89977.88                69812.50             56.31
           5               320315.00                80008.69             80.01
           6               121304.75                69729.06             63.50
           7               199923.38               134092.31             59.85
 INTERLEAVED                    0.00                      --                --

My system is a test system with remote allocation. In a production environment this musn’t be the case!



On the secondary site are some details which you can only see there. If you monitor the HSR on the primary site with the python script or via HANA Cockpit you only see the data shipping. If this is complete the HSR is running with log shipping. This is correct, but are the systems at this point in time in sync? No, there is a backlog and some steps missing which can be monitored via hdbcons.

#show replay backlog section
hdbcons "replication info" | grep replayBacklog​
 - replayBacklog                   : 0 microseconds
 - replayBacklogSize               : 0 bytes
 - replayBacklogMax                : 13065250401 microseconds
 - replayBacklogSizeMax            : 46759845888 bytes

The backlog should be close to 0 (depending on the sync mode). Only then is it guaranteed that the systems are in the sync!


#Details about the replay steps
hdbcons "replication info" | grep replayStep
 - replayStepStatus                : ReplayStep_None
 - replayStepFinishLogPos          : 0x5254392ff80
 - replayStepFinishLogPosTimestamp : 09.01.2021-16.59.59 (1610211599646137)
 - replayStepStartLogPos           : 0x5254392ff80
 - replayStepStartLogPosTimestamp  : 09.01.2021-16.59.59 (1610211599646137)
 - replayStepCount                 : 338611163

ReplayStep_None means currently the systems are in sync and no step is open

#Full backup size
hdbcons "replication info" | grep FullBackupSize
 - shippedFullBackupSize           : 5829827788800 bytes
 - shippedFullBackupSizeNet        : 5829827788800 bytes (100.00%)
 - shippedLastFullBackupSize       : 5829827788800 bytes
 - shippedLastFullBackupSizeNet    : 5829827788800 bytes (100.00%)




The first step when you forcing an issue, create a runtime dump. Here you can use the HANA Dump Analyzer

#Generate call stacks for active threads with sql
hdbcons "context l -s -q" | grep -v suppressed


#wait analysis to indentify the activity responsible for the locking
hdbcons "indexmanager waitgraph -w"


#Job execution log
hdbcons "jexec logstart -c <events_in_million>";
hdbcons "jexec logstop"
hdbcons "jexec logprint <file_name>.jexlog"

If you want create your own HANA first aid script, just use the hdbcons commands. Here an example (which is not adapted for a multi tenant system):

c_date=$(date +%F-%H%M%S)
function runtimedump
        echo "Create RuntimeDump"
        hdbcons "runtimedump dump"
function job_execs
        echo "Create Job Execution Log"
        hdbcons "jexec logstart -c 30"
        sleep 10
        hdbcons "jexec logstop"
        hdbcons "jexec logprint "/tmp/${c_date}.jexlog""
function waitgraph
        echo "Create Waitgraph"
        hdbcons "indexmanager waitgraph -w -o /tmp/waitgraph_${c_date}.dot"
        dot -Tpdf -o /tmp/waitgraph_${c_date}.pdf /tmp/waitgraph_${c_date}.dot
function active_threads
        echo "Create Active Threads Log"
        hdbcons "context l -s -q" | grep -v suppressed > /tmp/active_threads_${c_date}.log
echo "####################################"
echo "created files:"
echo "/tmp/${c_date}.jexlog"
echo "/tmp/waitgraph_${c_date}.pdf"
echo "/tmp/active_threads_${c_date}.log"
echo "####################################"


With this details the SAP support or every other HANA expert can create a first analysis for the situation. The experts normally need the callstacks, active threads, memory details and more of the point in time situation of the issue. With such an first aid script you can create this information by executing one script. This saves a lot of time and is uniform. Every admin knows it and unexpected system behaviour and you do not know where to start => easy, execute the first aid script. At XLC we have developed a comprehensive HDB first aid tool that saves our customers a lot of time and trouble.

You can read out some views of the passive HSR site via SQL over the primary. If you don’t have SQL access you can read out some (not all!)

#list all available monitor views
hdbcons "monitor list"


#search for a specific term
hdbcons "monitor list" | grep <search_term>


#print content of monitoring views
hdbcons "monitor print -h -n <monitor_view_name>"



At the end you should know some hacks which allow you to troubleshoot your HANA system via hdbcons without any SQL access. With this knowledge you can create your own HANA first aid script to collect important information during time of the issue.


V1.1 Added monitor diff

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